Jim’s Snow Policy

Dear Members and Friends of Richmond’s First Baptist Church:

We’ve had some snow in the last 48 hours–lots of it.  The small, round table on my deck looks like a wedding cake, piled high with at least twelve inches of fluffy white snow.  It’s beautiful, but it does raise the question: Will we have church tomorrow?

It has been my policy for years now to open the doors of the church on Sunday morning no matter what the weather, and I’ve done it: I’ve bundled up and hiked through the snow simply because there might be someone in the neighborhood who needs to hear the Gospel and feel the warmth of Christian love.  One Sunday morning in DC the snow was coming down thick and fast, eventually piling up to a depth of more than two feet.  We only had 25 people in church that day but three of them joined the church when I gave the invitation.  I don’t think I’ve had a Sunday since when 12 percent of the congregation responded to the altar call.  I’ll be at church tomorrow, and I hope you will, too.

But it has also been my policy to ask members to use their own good judgment and not take any unnecessary risks to come to church.  If you look out the front door on Sunday morning and think, “I could fall and hurt myself,” then please stay home.  You have my permission.  Tomorrow, especially, you have some options: we’ll be broadcasting the service live on Channel 8 at 11:00 a.m. in the Richmond area, and air the usual live webcast at www.fbcrichmond.org.  We won’t have an 8:30 service tomorrow and we won’t be having Sunday school, but if you can make it to the 11:00 service without risking life or limb I’d love to see you there.  And if you can’t make it in person I’ll look for you on the other side of the camera.

In the meantime, appreciate the beauty of the snow, and the way it makes the world—for a little while at least—perfect and pure.